Photos by Nathaniel Liu, Carl Costanzi, Sebastian Murariu, and Rose Gordon.
Event Description & History
The Snowshoe Festival features snowshoe walks, 2k, 5k and 10k snowshoe races, snowshoe games for the whole family, and a Valentine’s Day Dance featuring Bill Olsen & Pam Weeks.
Recognized in 2012 by the Maine Downtown Center as a uniquely Maine festival, the Snowshoe Festival returns for its seventh year to celebrate Norway’s rich cultural heritage of the arts (as in music), and crafts (as in snowshoe making). This festival receives support from Norway Downtown, Healthy Oxford Hills, the Western Foothills Land Trust, and the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend.
Farmington celebrates Chester Greenwood who invented the ear muff, Kingfield has the Stanley Museum honoring the Stanley twins, and Rockland prides itself as the birthplace of Louise Nevelson and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Norway has its snowshoe industries and Mellie Dunham.
Norway, once self-proclaimed as “The Snowshoe Town of America” was home to four major snowshoe industries between 1850 and 1980: Snowcraft, Tubbs, H.H.Hosmer and Dunham.
Mellie was not only the first commercial snowshoe maker in town, outfitting Admiral Peary’s expedition to the North Pole, he was also a renowned fiddler who was commissioned by Henry Ford to play traditional fiddle music across the country. In honor of Mellie’s talents, the Norway Snowshoe Festival always involves a contra dance in addition to athletic and family related outdoor snowshoe events.